BEHIND THE GROOVES: a music blog by Jeff Harris

On this day in music history: August 26, 1978 - “Grease” by Frankie Valli hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also peaking at #40 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Barry Gibb, it is the second solo chart topper for legendary lead vocalist of The Four Seasons born Francesco Castelluccio. Following the Bee Gees work on the soundtrack for “Saturday Night Fever” and as the group are wrapping up filming on the Robert Stigwood helmed “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, Barry Gibb will be asked by Stigwood to write the theme song for the film adaptation of the long running hit musical “Grease”. Gibb will quickly write the song on his own, cutting the track at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL in April of 1978. Guitarist Peter Frampton, Gibb’s co-star in “Sgt. Pepper” will play guitar on the track. Barry Gibb will also be instrumental in bringing in Frankie Valli to sing the title song to the film. Released as the second single from the “Grease” soundtrack on May 6, 1978, it will quickly become a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #69 on May 27, 1978, it will climb to the top of the chart thirteen weeks later. “Grease” will be Valli’s second solo number one (seventh overall) giving him a span of nearly sixteen years since his first number with The Four Seasons in 1962. The success of the song will drive sales of the “Grease” soundtrack to over 8x Platinum in the US, and worldwide sales of over twenty eight million copies. At the time of its domination of the charts, it will be the second largest selling soundtrack album of all time after “Saturday Night Fever”. “Grease” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.